Governor Charlie Baker signs hands-free driving legislation into law at the State House Library on Nov. 25, 2019. The law aims to improve road safety in the Commonwealth with recommendations adopted from the Stategic Highway Safety Plan. [Alex Camp/Governor’s Press Office]
5 New Massachusetts Laws That May Impact Your Life In 2020 and beyond
The Massachusetts minimum wage will go up and income tax will go down,The distracted driving bill will go into effect in February,The the paid family and medical leave law will kick in, last but not least,a major vaping restriction takes hold.
1.Income tax reduction
The state’s income tax will finally fall to 5 percent, 20 years after voters approved a ballot measure slashing the rate from what was then 5.85 percent.
The individual income tax rate will be reduced from 5.05 percent to 5 percent effective Jan. 1, the Baker Administration announced Friday. Voters approved a slash in the tax rate from 5.9 percent to 5 percent in 2000, but the Legislature decided to reduce the rate gradually based on certain economic triggers
The law takes effect Feb. 23, 2020. First offenses will cost $100, second offenses $250 and third and subsequent offenses $500 and auto insurance surcharges.
“Operators driving a car should not be holding a phone to text, check social media or email,” he said. “When a driver on an electronic device hits something or someone, that’s not an accident. It’s a crash that was avoidable.”
Drivers will soon be banned from using any hand-held devices, like cellphones, while behind the wheel.
Gov. Charlie Baker signed the bill into law,bringing Massachusetts in line with the other five New England states with bans in place.
Motorists can still use navigation apps if it takes a single swipe to a device mounted on the windshield, dashboard or center console.
3.Paid family and medical leave
Contributions for October-December will be due in January for the family and medical leave act, though benefits will not be available for residents until 2021. Instead, contributions from employers and self-employed individuals will pay for the previous calendar quarters. READ MORE
The minimum wage will increase to $12.75 an hour, a 75-cent bump as it moves to a target of $15 an hour in 2023.Tipped workers’ wages will increase to $4.95 an hour READ MORE
Standard Minimum Wage
Tipped Minimum Wage
January 1, 2020
January 1, 2021
January 1, 2022
January 1, 2023
The measure makes Massachusetts the first state to permanently ban retail sales of all flavored tobacco, including menthol cigarettes and vape products. The ban on flavored e-cigarettes takes effect immediately, while sales of menthol cigarettes will cease on June 1st, 2020.”
A law restricting the sale of flavored tobacco and vaping products will take hold June 1. Under the law, the number of flavored nicotine vaping products will be limited to smoking bars where they must be smoked on-site. There will also be a 75 percent excise tax on cigarettes. The legislation, while not an overall ban, will make Massachusetts the first with such restrictions. It will take hold after a controversial emergency ban from Gov. Charlie Baker that expired in December.
When does this new law take effect?
The ban on flavored vaping products takes effect immediately. The prohibition of flavored tobacco products kicks in on June 1, 2020.
Will nicotine vape products cost more under the new law?
Yes. When passing the law, legislators placed a 75% excise tax on all electronic nicotine delivery systems. Supporters of the law said imposing the tax will price vaping out of the reach of underage users.